The Council’s Head Start program is home to some extraordinary children who will grow up to become world-changers. Teachers work hard to educate students in the classroom, but the foundation for the future of our young scholars begins at home. One CEOGC father is making sure his children’s foundation is solidified with love and consistent support.
Orane McDonald is the father of 3. All of his children attend CEOGC’s William Patrick Day Early Learning Center (WPDELC) and he’s also one of CEOGC’s most active and engaged parents. He’s determined to help change the stigma surrounding male involvement in their children’s lives.
“It means everything to me to be present with kids,” said McDonald. “The children are the future. We have to be here to show them that we love and care about them and their interests, so they don’t go out searching for it elsewhere.”
McDonald was recently nominated by Nicole Hawthorne, Site Administrator at WPDELC, to be awarded as a Champion of Central. This award is part of an initiative by the Cleveland Central Neighborhood to acknowledge and thank residents and community partners for their work in the Central neighborhood area. His involvement at WPDELC has not only had a positive effect on his children but multiple kids in the classrooms.
“Mr. Mcdonald is one of those parents that comes to every event we do; he’s reliable and it was a no-brainer to nominate him for this award,” said Hawthorne. “He’s become a role model to many of the students in his son’s classroom, especially the ones who may be without their own fathers.”
This past spring, McDonald also participated in the Ready to Learn Play & Learn Science FCL (Family & Community Learning) program, a film series by PBS on Ideastream. For McDonald, playing an intricate part in his children’s lives shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. He sees it as an essential part of his duty as a father to be involved – just like his father was.
“Love is an action word. If I tell my children I love them, I have to back that up by showing them,” said McDonald. “A lot of the philosophies and things I’ve learned about life came from my dad. No parents are perfect, but you can be consistent and choose to be present.”